Spider-Mating Season: How to Humanely Get Rid of Spiders in Your Car

As we creep into the colder, autumnal months, we’ll all begin to notice more and more spiders within our homes. This is because from around mid-September onwards, arachnids enter their mating season and come out of hiding. But spiders also have a habit of setting up camp in our cars, particularly in cosy nooks like our wing mirrors.

In fact, our new research has found that 91% of car owners in the UK say that they regularly see spiders in or on their cars. With 33.27 million licensed cars registered in the UK, our research suggests that there could be at least 30,275,700 cars on UK roads with spiders living in them!

Despite how they are portrayed in popular culture, most spiders in the UK (or most spiders you will ever come across in your lifetime) are completely harmless, and not as much as half as dangerous as they might seem. Although they might not exactly be ‘lookers’, spiders deserve just as much respect as we pay to other bugs like butterflies and bees.

As such, we’ve teamed up with the experts at Buglife to offer drivers tips on how to humanely get rid of spiders in cars this ‘spider season’. Check the tips and the full results of our research out below!

How do Brits Feel About Spiders in Their Cars?

Our research found that although the majority (57%) of British car owners say they don’t like it when they see spiders on their car, most people (33%) say they only ‘sometimes’ get rid of the spiders they see.

However, almost two-fifths (38%) of people say having the arachnids on their vehicles doesn’t bother them, and around a quarter (24%) of drivers say they rarely or never get rid of the spiders they see on their cars.

Interestingly, 25-34 year olds are the most likely group of drivers to not like having spiders on their cars, with an astounding 70% saying this. Yet, drivers older than 65 are least likely to bother, with almost half (48%) of this age group saying this.

While most spiders in the UK are entirely harmless, the sight of one - especially inside the vehicle - is enough to distract drivers and potentially cause unsafe driving.

Careless driving in the UK has grounds for up to a £2,500 fine or a whopping nine penalty points, so depending on where your eight-legged friend is living in your vehicle, it might be best for you both to relocate them to somewhere else.

spiders in car graphic

How to Humanely Remove Spiders from Your Car

Although the quickest - and perhaps easiest - solution when you find your spider lodging in your car might be to blast it with a power washing hose, this really isn’t fair on these small creatures.

‘Save the bees’ might be the bug campaign in vogue at the moment, but spiders are a crucial part of our ecosystem. Not only do spiders eat lots of insects, helping to control insect populations, but they’re an important food source for animals like birds, too.

We’ve teamed up with the team at Buglife to offer drivers tips on how to humanely remove spiders from their cars and help do their bit to sustain our British wildlife ecosystem:

1. Avoid catching or picking up spiders by the legs

Believe it or not, we appear very large and threatening to spiders, even though it may feel like it’s the other way around. When removing spiders from their cars, drivers should avoid catching or picking up spiders by their legs as they are very fragile and can be easily damaged.

The professional bug enthusiast would use a device called a ‘pooter’ for this instead. A ‘pooter’ essentially sucks the spider into a container from which it can be studied, making it great for parents with inquisitive kids, or for simply making it easier to release outside the car. There are a number of proprietary ‘spider catchers’ on the market that perform a similar task just as gently.

2. The old glass and card trick

This one may seem obvious, but using a glass and piece of card to remove spiders from your car is a great way to utilise objects you already own - if the spider is on a flat surface, that is.

When on a flat surface, simply place a glass wide enough to cover the spider without catching its legs and then gently slide a piece of paper or card underneath to enclose the space.

3. Blow the spider into a container

If a spider is hanging from a web or on a side surface, drivers can try to blow the spider off the car or, if inside, into a container to enable removal.

If the spider is inside, placing a lid for the container, or a piece of card, on top can help alleviate any feelings of nervousness from drivers if the spider begins to move about.

4. Use strong natural scents, but avoid harmful chemicals

Having strong smelling scents in your car can prove to be a great spider deterrent. Drivers should consider a car air freshener with a strong citrus, peppermint, eucalyptus or lavender smell to keep them at bay or use essential oils. White vinegar is also effective but not exactly a pleasant smell to have in the car!

5. Keep your car clean and tidy

Although it might sound straightforward, keeping the interior of your car clean and tidy is an effective way to keep spiders from finding places to nest inside.

Spiders love hiding in dark, cosy places, so leaving around bags and empty packets in your car is pretty much their ideal. To avoid having any unwanted guests, try to keep your car as tidy as possible. The less you have lying around, the less likely they’ll be to become a lodger.

6. Conkers

Conkers is a game familiar to millions across the country, but some say that conkers (or chestnuts) are a natural deterrent for spiders, however there’s no proof that this is true. The story is that conkers contain a chemical that spiders don’t like, but it’s never been scientifically proven.

Drivers could test this out by tying a conker to a string and hanging it around their rear-view mirror. They’ll either keep spiders at bay or look like they’re a real enthusiast of a game of conkers!

For more top tips relating to your car, visit our Knowledge Centre.


Our research was conducted via MRS Company Partner, OnePoll, from the 6th to the 12th September 2023 amongst 2000 car owners across the UK.

To calculate the estimated number of cars with spiders living in them across the UK, we used RAC’s figures for number of licensed cars in the UK (33.27 million), and found 91% (the percentage of drivers who told us they have spiders in their cars) = 30,275,700 cars.

Ready to Test Drive? Why read about the most reliable cars when you can drive one? Book your test drive today in Aberdeen. Book a Test Drive